Soft drinks, including sugar-free, linked to increased risk of early death


Drink more water, say experts as they argue study proves need for curbs on consumption

People who regularly consume soft drinks have a higher risk of an early death, researchers have found, with the trend seen for both sugared and artificially sweetened drinks.

While experts say the study cannot prove soft drinks are a driver of an increased risk of death, they say the work – which is the largest study of its kind – supports recent public health efforts to reduce consumption of soft drinks, such as the UK’s sugar tax.

“Our results for sugar-sweetened soft drinks provide further support to limit consumption and to replace them with other healthier beverages, preferably water,” said Dr Neil Murphy, a co-author of the research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation.

Murphy said more research was needed to unpick possible mechanisms by which artificial sweeteners might affect health.

“For artificially sweetened soft drinks, ours is the third large study published this year that has reported positive associations with all-cause deaths,” he said.

Writing in the journal Jama Internal Medicine, Murphy and colleagues report how they analysed data from more than 450,000 people, 70% of whom were women, across 10 European countries including the UK. Participants had an average age of just over 50, and those with health conditions such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes at the outset were not included in the analysis.

Read full article here.

Nicola Davis – The Guardian – September 3, 2019.

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